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Патент USA US3053021

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Sept. 11, 1962
a. B. SILVERMAN
3,053,01 1
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR HYDROPONIC GROWING
Filed March 1, 1960
7 Sheets-Sheet 1
20
20
FIG‘. 2
F/6./
INVENTOR
BENJAMIN B. SILVERMAN
BY
ATTORNEY
Sept. 11, 1962
'
B. B. SILVERMAN
3,053,011
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR HYDROPONIC GROWING
Filed March 1, 1960
\
7 Sheets-Sheet 2
INVENTOR
BENJAMIN B. SILVERMAN
ATTORNEY
Sept. 11, 1962
B. B. SILVERMAN
3,053,011
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR HYDROPONIC GROWING
Filed March 1, 1960
'7 Sheets-Sheet 3
47 A
3| A
I
46
INVENTOR
BENJAMIN B. SI LVERMAN
ATTORNEY
Sept. 11, 1962
3,053,011
B. B. SILVERMAN
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR HYDROPONIC GROWING
Filed March 1. 1960
‘7 Sheets-Sheet 4
INVENTOR
BENJAMIN B. SILVERMAN
@ fa”,
ATTORNEY
Sept. 11, 1962
B. B. SILVERMAN
3,053,011
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR HYDROPONIC GROWING
Filed March 1, 1960
‘7 Sheets-Sheet 5
INVENTOR
BENJAMIN B. S! LVERMAN
BY
ATTORNEY
Sept. 11, 1962
B. B. SILVERMAN
3,053,011
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR HYDROPONIC GROWING
Filed March 1, 1960
‘7 Sheets-Sheet 6
,4
T
‘Q
'
'
1
54
- (We
V.
l
INVENTOR
BENJAMIN B. SILVERMAN
ATTORNEY
Sept- 11, 1962
B. B. SILVERMAN
3,053,011
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR HYDROPONIC GROWING
Filed March 1, 1960
7 Sheets-Sheet '7
Q
I'l ‘
i
ZNVENTOR
BENJAMIN B. SILVERMAN
ATTORNEY
Unite
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rate
Patented Sept. ll, 1962
1
2
3,053,011
and growing capacity. Each module comprises a con—
duit structure and a multiplicity of individual growing
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FQR HYDROPONIC
GROWING
Benjamin B. Silverman, v219 Buena Vista Drive,
Dunedin, Fla.
Filed Mar. 1, 1960, Ser. No. 12,149
5 Claims. (Cl. 47—38)
beds.
The conduit structure serves as a means of trans
ferring the solution to and from the individual growing
beds and in its preferred form, also serves as a support
for the apparatus, which can easily be installed on,
over, in and under various types of man-made and nat
ural surfaces to provide a compact growing system of
The present invention relates to improved system and
almost any desired capacity and configuration, accord
apparatus for the hydroponic growing of plants or other 10 ing to the growing requirements and the available site,
and little or no alteration of ground areas or surfaces
vegetation such as tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers,
is required for installation of the modular hydroponic
?owers, ornamentals, shrubs, trees, fungi, etc.
It is well known that certain vegetation or plants can
system. The required amount of feeding solution is
be grown without soil by supplying the roots thereof with
supplied to the conduit system under a pressure which
aqueous solutions containing certain elements and chemi 15 provides a desirable level or depth of solution in the beds,
cals nutritious to the plants. This practice is known by
and the conduit system has means, such as air vents,
such terms as hydroponics, nutrient solution culture, sub
to aerate the solution and also to enable the solution
irrigation culture, tank farming, etc., and is generally
to flow freely and uniformly to and from the individual
carried out on a commercial scale in permanently in
beds. Preferably each module comprises a generally
stalled, trough-like waterproofed beds, generally of con 20 horizontal main conduit having branch conduits attached
crete, located in the ground and ?lled with a growing
thereto, some of which may extend laterally of the main
medium, such as river pebble, and having a suitable
conduit, and which terminate in upright sections to which
feeding solution circulated therethrough by pumping
individual growing beds are attached, means being pro
equipment or a gravity feed system, the plants being
vided for adjusting the vertical positions of the beds on
grown in the beds by supplying the feeding solution which 25 the branch conduits so that the level of the feeding solu
contains the essential nutritional elements to the roots in
tion in each bed can be closely regulated by adjusting
the growing medium.
the elevation of the bed.
The principal object of the present invention is the
Another object of the present invention is the pro
provision of a system and apparatus for hydroponic grow
vision of apparatus of the character described in which
ing comprising a multiplicity of containers or individual 30 the beds may be individually detached from the conduit
growing beds each of a size to accommodate a convenient
system without disturbing the basic structure or normal
minimal growing unit, such as a single plant or a group
operation of the system. This permits the removal of
of plants and each bed is connected by substantially closed
individual growing beds, with the plants contained therein,
conduits to a reservoir of plant feeding solution or the
for commercial sale, as well as for disease isolation,
like, means being provided by which the solution can be 35 pollination control, regrouping, and also for controlled
testing and observation as is frequently desired in agri
directed through the conduits to and from the beds to
periodically irrigate the roots of the plants in the grow
cultural experimental studies and as is necessary to assure
consistent quality control in commercial crops.
ing medium contained in the beds with said solution, the
A further object of the invention is the provision of
level of the solution in the beds being uniform and con
trollable. Plant growing systems utilizing the present in 40 apparatus of the character mentioned having means to
prevent in?ltration of the growing medium as well as
vention compared with prior known hydroponic systems
of like growing capacity are substantially more economical
creepage of the roots of the plants in the beds into the
and they are capable of producing superior plant growth.
branch conduits to which the beds are connected.
Another object of the invention is the provision of
The individual growing beds supplied with the feeding
solution through closed conduits provide closer regulation 45 apparatus of the character described which can be
and control of plant feeding than was heretofore possible
mounted with ease on wheels, skids, rollers, or various
and effect considerable reduction in water requirements,
other types of mobile base or structure, to achieve com
for a given growing capacity, which enables use of solu
plete mobility, and which also, depending on size, can
be lifted and transported without being disassembled.
tion handling equipment of a relatively low capacity and
Another object of the invention is the provision of
which is comparatively economical to install and main 50
apparatus of the type described whose con?guration re
tain. Furthermore, the closed conduit system materially
quires minimum space, or growing area, for any given
reduces the possibility of contamination in the system,
growing capacity.
thereby inhibiting the introduction and spread of plant
A still further object of the invention is the provision
disease and fungi deleterious to plant growth, and, if
desired, cleansing ?uids, either liquid or gases, can be 55 of apparatus of the character mentioned in which the
bed comprise an open-top container having an annular
easily introduced into the system to decontaminate and
removable cover of approprite material and color for
sterilize the entire apparatus.
substantially closing the open tops of the beds above
In carrying out the preferred form of the invention,
the stems of the plants to assist in preventing develop
the growing system comprises apparatus including one
or more complete units or modules, a module being 60 ment of disease caused by spores, micro-organisms, and
other extraneous matter which might enter the growing
de?ned here as a device consisting of a number of com
beds, to aid in retention of moisture in the growing
ponent parts of unitized or complex construction which
may be arranged in such a manner as to form a complete
medium, and to provide relative retention of radiated
heat.
growing apparatus of varying size, shape, con?guration,
3,053,011
3
Another object of the invention is the provision of
apparatus of the character described having valve means
to drain the individual modules so that rain water or
other excess ?uid can be readily removed from the system
and other means, such as a test part from which test
samples of the feeding solution can be readily taken
from time to time.
4
solution discharging from outlet 24 as described in great
er detail hereinafter. A second modular unit 30A like
module 30 is attached by a coupling 37 to the module 30
and, if desired, additional like modules could be simi
larly attached to one another by couplings so that all
could receive a solution from tank 2%. By controlling
valves 22 and 27 and pump 26, plant feeding or treating
Other objects and advantages of the invention will
be apparent from the following description of preferred
solution can be ?ooded into the beds 31 of the modules
tem embodying the invention;
tubular conduit 35 generally disposed horizontally and
and then periodically withdrawn therefrom for control~
forms thereof, reference being made to the accompany 10 ling the feeding or treating of plants in the beds.
ing drawings, wherein:
Referring more particularly to FIG. 3, module 30 is
FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view of a hydroponic sys
shown in detail and it comprises a main relatively rigid
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing an
which may be formed of any suitable material and, by
enlarged system similar to that of FIG. 1;
15 way of example, may be of a plastic, such as polyvinyl
FIG. 3 is a perspective view, partly exploded, of a
chloride, and is approximately two inches in diameter
growing unit or module of a system embodying the
and ten feet in length. Opposite ends of conduit 35 are
invention;
threaded so that these ends may either be closed as by
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the apparatus shown
threading a cap 36 thereon, or the end may be coupled
in PBS. 3, parts of which are shown broken away and 20 with another conduit of a like module as by a conven
other parts removed;
tional threaded coupling or union 37. Preferably, con
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary end view of the apparatus
duit 35 is reenforced at intervals therealong by collars
shown in FIG. 3;
38 which are tightly joined thereto, as by fusing or weld
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of apparatus
ing, and rigid branch conduits 41, 42 and 43 of like ma
shown in FIG. 3 but showing certain parts exploded;
25 terial, are attached in openings through the main tubu
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 showing a plant
lar conduit 35 and collars 38, as by fusing or welding,
in a growing bed;
so that liquid in conduit 35 may ?ow into the branch
‘FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a branch
conduits. Branch conduits 41 and 42 project laterally
conduit without a growing bed attached thereto;
from opposite sides of conduit 35, and an upright branch
FIG. 9 is a View similar to FIG. 8 but showing another 30 conduit 4-3 projects vertically therefrom. The intermedi
form of branch conduit;
ate portions of conduits 41 and 42 are reversely curved
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary perspective view of a branch
as at 41A and 42A and turned upwardly to provide a ver
conduit of still another form;
'FIG.~ 11 is a side view, in elevation, of a module em
bodying the invention disposed on an inclined surface;
tically extending section of approximately the same length
as conduit 43. The curved portions 41A and 42A form
feet which cooperate with conduit 35, when resting on a
iFIG. 12 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of
plane surface, to form a stable ‘base for the module as
tiered modules enclosed by a shield structure;
is illustrated in FfG. 5, wherein conduit 35 is resting on
FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 12 but showing still
the ground G and branch conduit 41 is shown providing
another form of tiered modules;
a foot 41A for supporting the module structure. Con
‘FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a support unit utilized 40 duit 42 similarly lends stability to this structure.
in the apparatus shown in FIG. 13; and
ilndividual plant-growing beds 3-1 are attached to the
'FIG. 15 is a fragmentary enlarged view of the appa
upper ends of the branch conduits and receive the ?uid
ratus shown in FIG. 13.
from reservoir 20 through the main and branch conduits
iReferring to FIG. 1, an hydroponic growing system
respectively. Preferably, means are provided for detach
embodying the invention is shown schematically and it - ably securing beds 31 to their supporting conduits and to
comprises a main reservoir 20 in which suitable solu
also adjust their elevations thereon, and in the form
tions may be contained, such as an aqueous solution in
shown, these means comprise threading the upper end
cluding various nutritional elements and chemicals, and
segments of branch conduits 41, 42 and 43, as is illus
which reservoir has an outlet conduit 21 connected there
trated at 41C in FIG. 6, and a nut 44 is threaded onto
with which leads by way of a manual control valve 22 50 each branch conduit to a point approximately that de
to a pressure regulating device 23 located at a lower
sired for the elevation of the bottom walls of the bed.
level so that the solution ?ows from the reservoir to the
A resilient Washer 4-5 is then placed about the conduit
pressure regulator by gravity.
and against nut 44- after which a bed 311, which is formed
Device 23 comprises a tank or receptacle having an out
having a central opening in the bottom wall to receive
let 24 leading to the conduits for the growing beds, as
the threaded conduit end portion, is slipped onto the
conduit and rested against the washer and nut. A sec
described more fully hereinafter, and the level of solu
ond nut 46 is then threaded onto the conduit and is
tion in the tank is maintained by a ?oat valve, not shown,
forced against the bottom wall of the bed to tightly clamp
as long as valve 22 is open, so that the solution is dis
charged through outlet 24 at a given pressure. Any
the bed between the nuts 44 and 46, washer 45 serving
to prevent leakage of solution from the bed. It will be
other suitable pressure regulator for feeding solution to
apparent that by backing off nut 46, nut 44 may be
the system under a given head pressure could be em
ployed. Solution in the system can be returned through
turned one direction or the other on the threaded conduit
section whereby the elevation at which the bed 31 is po
regulator 23 to reservoir 20 by way of a return conduit
sitioned thereon can be closely adjusted. The elevation
25 which leads from tank 23 to the inlet of a pump 26
of beds 31 are adjusted so that the desired level of the
‘which discharges into main reservoir 20, and, preferably,
solution therein lies in the plane of the surface of the
a valve 27 is interposed between outlet pipe 25 and the
liquid in the tank of regulator 23.
inlet of pump 26. By the arrangement described, the
{In the preferred embodiment of the invention shown,
solution in reservoir 20 can be fed under a given head
growing beds 31 are pot-shaped and may be formed of
pressure to the conduit system and withdrawn and re
turned to the reservoir by controlling the valves and 70 any suitable material, such as polyvinyl chloride, and
preferably, openings 31A are formed in the sides adja
pump. If desired, the valves 22 and 27, as well as pump
26, can be controlled by suitable automatic devices.
cent to the top to limit the depth of solution on the
Discharge pipe 24 is connected to one end of a conduit
plants in the beds should excess solution be inadvertently
of module 39 which includes a plurality of individual
fed to the beds or excess rain water enter the beds. Pref
growing beds 31, each being supplied with the particular 75 erably, a screen filter 47 is provided which rests on and
3,053,011
5
covers substantially the entire bottom of each of the beds
6
FIG. 11 illustrates a module 30 disposed on a slightly
31, a recessed portion 47A being formed therein to ac
sloping surface, and the beds 31 are adjusted relative to
commodate nut 46. The purpose of screen 47 is to pre
vent in?ltration of the growing medium or root system
their supporting branch conduits so as to lie in a common
horizontal plane.
As shown in FIG. 7, ‘beds 31 preferably contain a suit
able growing medium 60, such as vermiculite, in which
seeds or seedlings are planted. Preferably, an impervious
tion or other liquid and to prevent an air lock in the con
annular collar 61 of appropriate color, having a central
opening 61A through which the plant stem extends, is
duits, main conduit 35 preferably is provided with breather
means such as air vents which, in the form shown, com 10 placed in the beds to prevent development of plant dis
ease caused by ‘spores, micro-organisms, and other ex
prise two vertically extending tubes 50 attached to the
traneous matter which might enter the beds, to provide
conduit and which communicate with the interior thereof
relative retention of radiated heat to assist in retaining
and which tubes project somewhat above the level of
moisture in the growing medium between feedings, and
beds 31. Foreign matter ‘and rain are prevented from
entering tubes 50 by turning their upper ends downwardly 15 to prevent surface erosion of the growing medium.
of a plant in the bed into the branch conduit support
ing the bed to avoid blocking the passage of ?uid.
To promote aeration of the roots by the feeding solu
to permit the passage of air into and from the main con
duit, ‘and this excludes the air and other contamination
which would otherwise fall into the open end. One of
the tubes 50 is located between the last growing bed and
the end of conduit 35 remote from the solution supply end 20
In use, the main reservoir 20 is ?lled with suitable
solution containing the necessary plant nutrients, or it
may be -a plant treating or decontamination solution or
?uid, and valve 22 is then opened to admit the solution
into pressure regulator 23 from which it is discharged
into conduit 35 and ?ows 'to the individual beds 31 and
so that air may enter or leave conduit 35 as liquid enters
rises therein to the level corresponding to the level of the
and leaves the conduit. The presence of air in the conduit
solution in regulator 23, as described hereinbefore. After
also aerates the solution and enhances growth of the plan-ts
an appropriate lapse of time in which the solution is main
fed thereby.
It may be ‘desirable to test the feed solution in conduits 25 tained in the beds, the solution may be withdrawn from
the beds and returned to reservoir 20 by closing valve
35 from time to time, and to withdraw samples thereof
22, opening valve 27 and operating pump 26, which with
a test plug 53 is provided in the bottom of main conduit
draws the solution from the conduit system and returns it
35. This plug is normally threaded into its opening. Also,
to the main reservoir where the recovered solution may
it is desirable to be able to drain excess water from the
be tested and chemically forti?ed, if necessary, after
conduit system, which may accumulate due to rainfall,
which the solution is again ?ooded into the beds in the
and for this purpose a drain valve 52 is provided adjacent
to one end of main conduit 35 in each module.
In some instances it may be desirable to remove indi
vidual beds 31 from their conduits and close such conduits
to retain the system in operation, and in that event nut 46
is unthreaded from the branch conduit on which the bed
to be removed is supported and, after the bed is removed,
manner described hereinbefore.
It will be understood that the ?ooding and drainage of
beds 31 by the solution may occur a number of times
per day and such operations can be carried out auto
matically, as by the use of electronically or electrically
operated time valves and pump control devices which are
well known in the art, and, therefore, not shown here.
a closure cap 54 is then threaded onto the open end of
Should it be desirable to provide more than one series
the branch conduit to prevent loss of solution, as is illus
of
modules 31, as may be seen in FIG. 2, each line or
40
trated in FIGS. 3 and 8.
series is then connected with a pressure regulator like
In practice, it may be desirable to provide a hand valve,
regulator 23 which in turn may be connected with a com
such as that shown at 55 in FIG. 9, in one or more of the
mon main reservoir like reservoir 20 so that each series
branch conduits for controlling flow of solution to the
of modules may be subjected to the appropriate ?uid pres
particular bed attached to the conduit for close control of
sure according to the particular elevation of the beds in
the feeding of the plant therein or for temporarily isolat
each series. As seen in FIG. 2, a common pump 26 can
ing the bed from the system, for example, and with this
be
employed for returning the solution to the main reser
arrangement cap 54 can be dispensed with.
voir in the manner described relative to the system shown
Referring to FIG. 10, still another form of branch con
in FIG. 1.
duit is shown in which a coupling 56 is threaded to branch
It will be appreciated that the modules can be assem
bled for use under many different circumstances; for ex
attached to the bottom wall of a bed 31 whereby the bed,
ample, they may be stacked relative to one another as
with the plant therein intact, can be removed by dis
shown in FIGS. l2, l3 and '15, wherein two modules '30
connecting the coupling. The coupling 56 would be re
are shown, one supported above the other and enclosed
moved and conduit 42B capped by a cap similar to cap 54.
by a shielding structure.
In forming an hydroponic growing system of a plurality 55
In the form shown in FIG. 12, the lower module 3% is
of modules, like module 30, the modules are disposed
resting on the ground and the upper module is supported
horizontally on a suitable surface and in end to end rela
on framework comprised of two similar inverted U-shape
tion. The main conduits 35 thereof are then connected
members 61 and 62. spaced apart approximately the length
together in a series by couplings 37 or other suitable means.
of the module and having the lower ends embedded in the
The end of the ?rst module is ‘coupled to outlet 24 of 60 ground for support thereof. The U-shape frame mem
pressure regulator 23 and the remote end of the last
bers are interconnected by four side rods 63 and a ridge
module in the series is closed by a cap 36, as is illustrated
rod 64, and the legs of each frame member are braced by
in FIG. 1. The laterally projecting branch conduits 41
transverse rods ‘65, 66 and 67. Side rods 63 are inter
and 42 and main conduits 35 can be supported so as to
65 connected at suitable intervals therealong by transverse
conduit 42B and to the lower end of a conduit section 31B
cause the beds 31 to lie on an approximate level plane,
and the elevation of the individual beds can be adjusted
by nut 44 as described, if necessary, to provide the re
rods 68 on which the main conduit 35 of the upper
module rests. The laterally projecting conduits 41 and 42
of the module are supported by rods 69 extending ‘longi
quired level of solution in the respective beds when the
tudinally of the framework and resting on cross rods 67
solution is fed into the modules from the tank of regula 70 and 68, as shown. It will be understood that the solu
tor 23 through main conduits 35. The relatively rigid
tions supplied to upper and lower ‘modules will be at differ
and self-supporting character of the modules 30 facilitates
ent head pressures, so that the levels of the solutions in
initial installation of a growing system inasmuch as the
beds 31 of the respective modules will be properly main
modules can be properly placed by a minimum of ground
tained.
or surface preparation.
To provide growing space for plants in the lower mod~
75
3,053,011
8
ule, the two modules are staggered or offset longitudinally
than previously known systems of hydroponic growing.
relative to one another so that the beds 31 in the lower
module are out of vertical alignment with the beds in the
The growing beds and their solution-feeding conduit sys
tem permits close and effective control of the feeding,
upper module.
treating, and disinfecting of the growing plants and the
Preferably, guide wires '70 are attached
5
equipment. The uniform spacing of the beds facilitates
tain types of plants growing from the beds. Turnbuckles
71 control the tautness of the guide wires.
It may be desirable to shield the growing plant from
rain, heat, sun, wind, cold or pollution in the atmosphere
or to provide a controlled growing environment by intro 10
access to the plants growing therefrom so that harvesting
crops from the plants is rapid and can be carried out with
to cross members 65 and 66 to provide supports for cer
duction of arti?cial light, heat, cooling, moisture, etc, and
out disturbing adjacent plants.
Although but several forms of the invention have been
shown, it is to be understood that it may be embodied in
other forms, modi?cations and adaptations, all falling
within ‘the scope of the claims which follow.
I claim:
clear, opaque or dark plastic, as required, can ‘be draped
1. An hydroponic growing system comprising a hori
over the frame with the central portion attached to ridge
rod 64 and the outer end edges having roller rods 73 at 15 zontally extending relatively rigid main pipe section, a plu
rality of branch pipes connected therewith and projecting
tached thereto. Rods 73 are arranged to be rolled up
laterally of each main pipe section and opening to the in—
wardly to the ridge rod 64, winding the sheet 72 thereon
terior of said pipe section, certain of said pipes projecting
and uncovering the frame, by two suitable sets of draw
vertically and certain other of said branch pipes project
cords 74 and pulleys 75, which are manipulated from op
posite sides and ends of the frame, respectively, and which 20 ing generally horizontally for forming a plurality of regu
lar relatively closely spaced lateral supports for stabiliz
operate similarly to the well-known roll up‘ type curtains
ing said main pipe section against axial rotation, said
or blinds. The end of the frame may be closed by sheets
horizontally projecting pipes having outer end portions
77 and 78 similar to sheet 72, the upper edges being at
turned to extend vertically, a plurality of pot-like beds at
tached to cross rods 65 and 67, respectively, and the low
tached to the outer ends of said branch pipes in upright
er edges attached to roller rods 80 and 31 which may be
positions with the open ends up and the bottom walls
rolled upwardly to wind the sheets thereon and open the
thereof lying in a substantially horizontal plane above
end of the frame by cords 82 and pulleys 83.
said main pipe section, a liquid reservoir connected to said
Referring to the tiered arrangement of modules 30
main pipe section, means to force liquid from said reser
shown in FIGS. 13 and 15, the lower module rests on the
voir into said main pipe section and branch pipes and to
ground and the upper module is supported by inverted
withdraw liquid from said pipe section and pipes.
W-sh-ape braces 85 notched in the ends at 85A to receive
2. An hydroponic growing system comprising a hori
the lateral branch conduits 41 and 42 of the upper and
zontally extending pipe section, a plurality of branch
lower modules, as shown.
pipes projecting laterally of each main pipe section and
It is apparent that the modules can be relatively easily
opening to the interior of said pipe section, a plurality of
transported and little, if any, preparation of the site is nec
pot-like beds attached to the outer ends of said branch
essary to install a growing system of any convenient grow
pipes, in upright position with the open ends up and hav~
ing capacity. In some instances it may be desirable to
ing ‘the bottom walls thereof in a substantially horizon
provide mobility to the modules and in one form this may
in that event, a sheet 72 of suitable material, such as a
tal plane above said main pipe section, a liquid reservoir
be accomplished by the provision of Wheeled brackets 90
having clamp type bushings 91 and 92 in which rigid sup 40 connected to said main pipe section, means to force liquid
from said reservoir into said main pipe section and through
port conduits 93 and 94 are ?rmly secured, respectively,
said branch pipes into said beds and to withdraw liquid
and which conduits are attached to the ends of adjacent
from said pipe section, pipes and beds, and means for ad—
serially arranged modules to form a support therefor as
mitting air to and expelling air from said main pipe sec
well as serving to provide a ?uid interconnection between
45 tion when the liquid is withdrawn and directed into said
the conduits 35 of the modules.
main pipe section, respectively.
By my invention, growing systems of convenient sizes
3. An hydroponic growing system as set forth in claim
2 characterized by the last recited means comprising a
may be readily installed in, under, on, or over various
man-made and natural surfaces, including areas or sites
unsuited for practical installations of previously known
hydroponic growing systems, and the flexibility effected by
tube extending vertically from said main pipe and con
50 nected with the interior thereof.
the modular conduit and individual growing bed struc~
tu-res permits these installations to be readily moved from
one site to another or to be dismantled and stored in a
4. An hydroponic growing system comprising a hori
zontally extending relatively rigid main pipe section, a plu
rality of branch pipes connected therewith and projecting
laterally of said main pipe section and opening to the
compact form.
The arrangement of the compact, closed conduit system 55 interior of said pipe section, certain of said branch pipes
‘forming a plurality of regular relatively closely spaced
and individual growing beds greatly reduces the volume of
solution required for feeding any given number of plants,
compared to previously known hydroponic systems. Fur—
ther, since the only solution “lost” in the feeding process
is that absorbed by the growing medium and the roots of 60
the plants in the individual growing beds, a very large per
centage of this minimum amount of total solution re
lateral supports for stabilizing said main pipe section, a
plurality of pot-like beds attached to the outer ends of
said branch pipes in upright positions with the open
ends up, a liquid reservoir‘ connected to said main pipe
section, means to force liquid from' said reservoir into
said main pipe section and branch pipes into said beds
and to withdraw liquid from said pipe section and'pipes,
and means for admitting air to and expelling air from said
65 main pipe section‘when the liquid is withdrawn and di
use in areas where water is scarce.
rected into said main pipe section, respectively.
The closed arrangement of the conduit system and in
5. An hydroponic growing system comprising a hori
dividual growing beds, With relatively no exposure to air
zontally extending relatively rigid main pipe section, a
in the conduit system, reduces the possibility of airborne
contamination within the apparatus and prevents the pos 70 plurality of branch pipes connected therewith and pro
jecting laterally of each main pipe section and opening
sibility of contamination in the system due to growth of
to the interior of said pipe sections, certain of said pipes
algae, fungi, and other plant-growth inhibitors, thereby re
projecting vertically and certain other of said branch
ducing the possibilities of plant diseases.
pipes projecting generally horizontally for forming a plu
The compact modular arrangement of the apparatus
rality of regular relatively closely spaced lateral supports
permits greater productivity per unit volume and area
quired is also recovered for re-use, which makes the ap-'
paratus covered by this invention exceedingly practical for
3,053,011
10
for stabilizing said main pipe section against axial rota
tion, ‘said horizontally projecting pipes having outer end
portions turned to extend vertically, a plurality of pot
like Foeds attached to the outer ends of said ‘branch pipes
in upright positions With the open ends up and the bot
tom walls thereof lying in a substantially horizontal plane
above said main pipe section, a liquid reservoir con
nected to said main pipe section, means to ‘force liquid
from said reservoir into said main pipe section and branch
pipes and to Withdraw ‘liquid from said pipe section 10
and pipes, and means for admitting air to and expelling
air from said main pipe section when the liquid is With
drawn and directed into said main pipe sect-ion, respec
tively.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
217,010
699,154
818,356
915,897
926,119
1,580,287
2,051,461
2,060,735
2,674,828
2,803,923
2,909,002
Judson et al ___________ __ July 1, 1879
DeForce _____________ .. May 6, 1902
Davis _______________ __ Apr. 17, 1906
Skorness ____________ __ Mar. 23, 1909
Holt ________________ __ June 29, 1909
Colle et al. __________ __ Apr. 13, 1926
18, 1936
Lee ________________ __ Aug.
Krueger _____________ __ Nov.
Tegner ______________ __ Apr.
Pratt _______________ __ Aug.
Hendry ______________ __ Oct.
10, 1936
13, 1954
27, 1957
20, 1959
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